The watering down of all martial arts

 I love America and the free market for sure the issue at hand of course is that a lot of cutting corners happen in the pursuit of the almighty dollar.
It affects all areas of industry. Everything from the food we eat to the water we drink. America has created some of the most unique inventions and innovations to make life easier for sure.
At the same time the balance of scales has went in the opposite direction which causes both damage and destruction.
When martial arts first made its way to America only the strong survived and a 10 yo black belt wasn’t even a topic.
Now we have 8 yo black belts in every suburb and world champions in every city. America has taken a once cherished accomplishment and turned it into a fugazi.
The youngest black belt I have encountered was 6. The lady asked if he could wear his belt from his other dojo so he wouldn’t have to start over and I thought……no worries he is 6. When he came to class with a black belt I about fell over. When I said he couldn’t wear that she looked at me with an attitude and stated that he has been training since he was 3 and he should be allowed to wear it. Without going into the conversation let’s just say they didn’t become members.
As far as I am aware there are only 2 systems that won’t award a black belt until you are 18. Jiu Jitsu and Kenpo. I know some Kenpo schools that now award black belts at 16 but it wasn’t that way until a couple years ago.
I wish young black belts were the only problem of what America has done to the martial arts. Musical forms, acrobatics, a heavy focus on antiquated weapons, stripes every month and a new belt every other month, punching from the hip, locking out punches and kicks, breaking boards, black belt clubs (long memberships that pretty much guarantees you a black belt). The list goes on and the focus has gone from self-defense to nonsensical areas to develop a fake confidence.
I have seen programs where they are marketing a 3-year black belt for jiu jitsu. I know an instructor that will award you a black belt after about 6 years of training 3 days a week. I don’t agree with that but that’s America.
Martial means military. Military arts are what we practice. Fights are ugly, I don’t want art I want effective.
Sadly, it is not the art that ineffective. It is what has happened when it jumped the shark. Think TKD is ineffective watch the Korean Roc Marines. That is some impressive stuff. Watch Okinawan Karate body conditioning from Okinawa. Watch Karate training in Japan and you will come away with a different perspective.
It isn’t the art….its what was done in the pursuit of the dollar.
No gym I know of in MN. that teaches MMA, kickboxing or jiu jitsu waters down anything. So, get yourself to your local academy and start training now.
If you or your kids are in karate, kung fu or tkd?? Please unenroll after their time is up and put them in an academy where they will really learn practical self-defense.
If you don’t want to do that, please enroll them in wrestling or boxing. Two great American martial arts that don’t care about belts and they will learn how to really defend themselves.
I would put any 1-year wrestler or boxer against a black belt and 95% of the time the black belt would lose.